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In my fantasy setting, then there are two countries (Mapiya and Mystikicis) that are supposed to be the most magically and technologically advanced. I've already got the magical advancement more or less down, but not so much for the tech-level.

This isn't without trying: I've thought of weapons, armour, transportation, medicine, and production of constructs, yet I always feel like they're too advanced for the setting.

Just a bit of tech background for the Mystiks (people of Mystikicis), they used to have firearms and bombs, but after a massive wave of darkness and new demons in the Abyss (basically Hell), then they were able to detect that the wave was caused in some degree by firearms and bombs. They weren't entirely certain how involved the technology was, but they were able to tell that it had quite a bit of involvement. So to prevent anything similar from happening on Hraedmur (the planet they're on), they have forsaken the production of such weapons, and are purposely keeping other countries from learning such technologies exist in the first place.

tl;dr They know what firearms and bombs are, they just don't use them.

The Mapiyas live on landmasses in the sky, having been set up there through the use of a magical stony substance, by the ancient gods as a gimmicky resort for the wealthier, more pretentious gods (similar to underwater resorts in the real world). However, although they're supposed to be quite advanced, I haven't been coming up with much to show that. I've given them masks to protect their faces and breathe better during flight, but not much else.

One example of one of the less advanced nations, though more advanced than most, are the Eulimites, who have developed a primitive flamthrower using flammable oils and a match.

I've thought about using Wakanda (Marvel) as a base, but that didn't turn out well. Now I'm thinking something like the Protoss (StarCraft), wherein they infuse their tech with magic. Alternatively, I could go down a Dwemer (Elder Scrolls) route, though the Dwemer didn't use magic, seeing it as unnecessary, unlike the Mystiks who use lots of magic.

Or I could try something similar to the tech of either the Makers or Angels (Darksiders).

The main question is; How do I represent that the two countries have highly sophisticated technology while retaining a high-magic fantasy tone?

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  • $\begingroup$ You should make your question clear with a '?', because I have trouble understanding what you want. EDIT: Thank you :) $\endgroup$ – Sasugasm Mar 29 '18 at 18:41
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    $\begingroup$ What specifically do you want from "highly sophisticated technology"? Would a Harry-Potter-like world where most needs are met with a stroke of a wand or a magic artifact be suitable? $\endgroup$ – Alexander Mar 29 '18 at 19:56
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    $\begingroup$ I’ve got a world like this, and I’ve gotta say that it depends a LOT on your magic system and how it interacts with your world on a whole. It sounds like you want a softer magic system (which I’m not good with; sorry) but I’d maybe say take a look at the Fire Nation from Avatar. That’s a pretty good example of how magic and technology can interact and intersect. $\endgroup$ – Pleiades Mar 29 '18 at 20:25
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    $\begingroup$ It might also be worthwhile to find civilizations across world history that match what you’re looking for and research the advancements they made and what allowed them to exist in the first place. You’re probably looking for a medival magical setting (not sure; I’m unfamiliar with the examples you cited), so maybe start with the medival eras of different nations. $\endgroup$ – Pleiades Mar 29 '18 at 20:30
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    $\begingroup$ Doesn't this sound like Shadowrun? $\endgroup$ – pojo-guy Mar 29 '18 at 21:25
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Division of labor

You have magic. You have technology. Use them for different things. Maybe your technology is better suited/more effective at automated manual labor. Maybe magic is easier to implement for healing and medical purposes. They can develop in parallel, becoming more refined and sophisticated for their assigned purposes. There will be some overlap, but that's okay because they will be co-developed within the same time frames.

Magical energy sources

If magic develops more quickly at first, the discovery that magic can be used to power machinery will be a huge step forward in industry. Automation is already a huge part of our modern industry, and it continues to expand. With magical sources of power, machines can take over performing tasks that would require large numbers of people. Those workers can then turn their magical abilities elsewhere to pursuits better handled by people.

Cultural and geographic differences

The resources of a civilization's land will determine how they apply their industry and magic to meet their needs. The Mystiks live on the ground - they can search for their resources with relative ease. Magic can be supplanted by industry as technology progresses, so magic is used mostly for tasks better performed by magic. Technology takes care of the rest.

The Mapiyas live in the sky. Resources are likely more scarce. They probably developed magic as a solution to most problems early on, and while technology has mostly caught up, tradition relies heavily on magic. Don't underestimate the cultural inertia of relying on a resource for a long period of time. Even if there are viable alternatives, it's often difficult (and not always necessary) to stop doing things the "old way".

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    $\begingroup$ The Mystiks and Mapiyas both live in locations that were developed by a much older, more advanced species. However, although the technology is mostly lost, and the artifacts are generally all that's left, they have managed to reverse-engineer the technology of that ancient civilization to a degree. Much of what they have still remains a mystery. $\endgroup$ – Dead Knight Mar 29 '18 at 21:21
  • $\begingroup$ It's best practice to allow questions to stay open for at least 24 hours to allow users in other time zones a chance to contribute. But I appreciate the "vote of confidence" as it were. :-) $\endgroup$ – Chris M. Mar 29 '18 at 21:47
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Genetic technology

Your high tech is gene editing / manipulation tech. These technologic sophisticates are genetically perfect, with genetic corrections and enhancements that allow them to do stuff like photosynthesize, heal rapidly, better memory, not get cancer and so on. They have amazing crops. They have amazing pets. They do not get tooth decay.

Be careful you do not lapse into the Xmen type of "genetic tech" where magic tricks like teleportation are attributed to mutations. Genetic tech is amazing enough. Keep it to things that are actually governed by DNA and you can keep it separate from magic, and also bombs and firearms.

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  • $\begingroup$ In a way, I've already included some semblance of mutation fiction in this, though it's in the form of a sorcery gene, which makes one born a D&D style sorcerer, in addition to traits that previously weren't present in what was offered by either parent. $\endgroup$ – Dead Knight Mar 30 '18 at 23:04
  • $\begingroup$ But that kind of genetic tech, although I could probably implement it somewhere, it's not something that with the urban magic of the Mystiks and the shamanism of the Mapiyas. $\endgroup$ – Dead Knight Mar 30 '18 at 23:06
  • $\begingroup$ A hybrid shamanism / DNA tech would be awesome, and something I have not seen before. Remember - this tech was developed by their ancestors. They have turned away from some aspects of their tech but kept others as they changed over the generations.\. $\endgroup$ – Willk Mar 31 '18 at 14:28
  • $\begingroup$ The ancient civilization wasn't really their ancestors, more like just an ancient people, with the Humans being brought up there for slave labour and entertainment. $\endgroup$ – Dead Knight Mar 31 '18 at 20:19

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